Biography, Science, Space

Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil deGrasse Tyson by Kathleen Krull & Paul Brewer

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Young Neil deGrasse Tyson was starstruck when he first visited the sky theater at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He couldn’t believe the crowded, glittering night sky at the planetarium was real–until a visit to the country years later revealed the impossible.

That discovery was like rocket fuel for Neil’s passion for space. His quest for knowledge took him from the roof of his apartment building to a scientific expedition in northwest Africa, to a summer astronomy camp beneath a desert sky, and finally back home to become the director of the Hayden Planetarium, where it all began. Before long, Neil became America’s favorite guide to the cosmos.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Kathleen Krull in exchange for an honest review.
Before reading this story I had never heard of Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I was thrilled to read such a well-researched biography about a man who has spent his life learning about the stars and planets. The story begins with Neils childhood and continues throughout his entire career. I loved learning about his passion and excitement for all things science related! No matter what obstacles Neil encountered he met them head-on. He grew up to be a world-renowned speaker and researcher. I loved finding out that he was the scientist who realized that Pluto was not a planet. The illustrations in this book are beautiful. I enjoyed reading the authors note at the back of the book. A perfect addition to any science or space unit. Neil truly is a man who made the world think differently about stars.
Ages 5 and up
48 Pages

Science

If You Were the Moon by Laura Purdie Salas

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Back of Book:
What would you do if you were the moon? Do you think you would rest quietly in the night sky? Oh, no. The moon does so much more than you might imagine! It spins like a twilight ballerina, plays tug-of-war with the ocean, and lights a pathway for baby sea turtles. Discover the many other roles the moon plays in this whimsical and lyrical picture book.
My Review
I love incorporating picture books into my science units. They are a perfect way to introduce a unit before you begin. “If you Were the Moon” is a lyrical story about what the moon is doing all day and night. The book also has a scientific fact about the moon on each page. The lyrical text in the story is enchanting. It tells readers about all the phases of the moon as well as the role that the moon plays on earth. The illustrations are in a word breathtaking! I loved that they show the moon with several people groups around the world. The back of the book has a glossary which makes it a perfect story for a book report. This is a story that should be apart of every class, and school library.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Science

Cece Loves Science By Kimberly Derting, & Shelli R. Johannes

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Back of Book:
Cece, a budding and inquisitive scientist, and her equally curious best friend, Isaac, conduct experiments to see whether Cece’s dog, Einstein, will eat his vegetables.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from Kimberly Derting in exchange for an honest review.
STEM is a concept that has gained momentum and should be part of every student’s curriculum. I love using picture books with younger audiences because it teaches them the concept of STEM in a fun and engaging way. “Cece Loves Science” is a perfect addition to any STEM or science unit. The story follows Cece as she asks the questions Who?, What?, Where?, When?, and Why?. The story follows Cece and her friend Isaac as they use the Scientific Method to find out if Einstein will eat vegetables. I love that the book shows details of the scientific process. The back of the book has a list of Ceces Science Facts and definitions. I think one of my favorite aspects of this book is how encouraging the adults are about Ceces constant inquiry. Cece’s parents, and her teacher, are excited that she has so many questions and ideas. The illustrations in this story are fun, bright, and engaging. I cannot wait to share this book in my classroom.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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math, Science

A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars by Seth Fishman

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Back of Book:
Did you know that the earth is covered in three trillion trees? And that seven billion people weigh about the same as ten quadrillion ants? Our world is full of constantly changing numbers, from a hundred billion trillion stars in space to thirty-seven billion rabbits on Earth. Can you imagine that many of anything?
My Review:
This is a wonderful story to read to children about the concept of estimation. The pages are filled with numbers about the stars in the sky, and trees on the earth. This is an excellent book to give to children who ask lots of questions. I love the creativeness of this story Seth Fishman did a terrific job of taking a simple concept like estimation and making it a beautiful picture book. The illustrations in this book are different from most I have seen. I love the diversity in each picture. All children are represented in these illustrations. This is one of those books that should be in every school and library.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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Science

Roller Coaster By Marla Frazee

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Back of Book:
All sorts of people ride roller coasters, people over a certain height that is. Marla Frazee zooms in on one pony-tailed girl who has never experienced a roller coaster before, ever, in this start-to-finish ride.
My Review:
Tis is an incredibly well written story that perfectly describes the experience of riding a roller coaster. The story follows a little girl as she rides a roller coaster for the very first time. The text is simple but rich in adjectives. The illustrations show readers what a ride on a roller coaster looks like. This book is a perfect mentor text to use to introduce narrative writing. It can also be used to introduce story sequence.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Science

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

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Back of Book: Ada, has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. What would you do with a problem like this? Not afraid of failure, Ada embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But, this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!

My Review
I was so excited when I saw that this book is a part of the math and science catalog in Scholastic this month. Ada Twist Scientist is a story that could, and should be used for every STEM project that any teacher does in a classroom. The fact that Ada is a girl scientist adds extra value to this already fantastic story. The way the author integrates the questions of who, what, where when, and why, is truly brilliant! I loved the rhyming of the story it created a great pattern that was easy to read and enjoy. The inquisitive nature of Ada as she navigates questions and forms a hypothesis is both amusing, and informational. This story shows readers that sometimes to figure out the answer to a question, you must ask more questions. Great book for a read aloud before science projects. David Roberts did a great job at bring the illustrations in this book to life. I am looking forward to reading the other two stories by this author.

Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

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